Message from discussion Dialogue about Jesus Christ
From: "Dan Skunk" <dansk...@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Dialogue about Jesus Christ
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 18:40:27 -0400
Organization: Critter Networking Services
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"Patrick Elliott" <sell...@rraz.net> wrote in message
> In article <Xns97D9CAC688AFFothrsidebmts...@220.127.116.11>,
> othrs...@bmts.com.netspam says...
> > "Dan Skunk" <dansk...@gmail.com> wrote in
> > news:email@example.com:
> > > Well, respecting bad ideas, I think, is part of the problem.
> > > people is fine, is important, but you have to criticize their ideas
> > > without insulting their intelligence; lest they won't listen, and will
> > > just retaliate.
> > Absolutely. But I think it's important to prioritize what is urgent to
> > criticize, what is important, and what is inconsequential. Urgent
> > things that stand to cause harm now or in the immediate future.
> > issues would include those beliefs or attitudes which influence
> > decisions. Inconsequential stuff would be beliefs which we consider
> > (ie: the Rapture), but which do not generally pose a threat or otherwise
> > hurt anyone. These should, in the interests of free thought and mutual
> > respect, be left strictly alone unless they work their way up the chain
> > priority.
> Already gave and example of why this won't work. Some ideas held by each
> side in the argument they are "certain" are much higher "dangers" than
> anything else and its critical to solve them. The problem is, the two
> sides have drastically different ways of concluding both a) if such
> things are a danger at all, and b) what the proper solution should be.
> You can't have a reasonable discussion with someone who, despite using
> the same words to describe things, do not, on a basic level, speak the
> same language. Their language is one defined by faith, and to them
> "everything" is faith. Gravity is faith, water boiling is faith, etc. If
> they disagree with it, its automatically a case of whose "faith" is
> superior, not whose facts fit reality. And all too often, this means
> they don't know, don't want to know and will even ignore facts and
> evidence, if it contradicts what they take on "faith".
> To them, it doesn't matter if you can "observe" something, your still
> applying "faith" to your belief that it is real. One example some clown
> came up with was love. Now, love is a "human" definition of certain
> behaviours. Anyone capable of understanding the definition can
> "observe" behaviour that reflects the definition. The problem here is
> that there seems to be some crazy disconnect in the religious, that a
> word that "describes behaviour", is some strange seperate, intangible
> "thing", and you have to take on faith that you are actually seeing it.
> Huh??? Try that again... But its literally the sort of argument such
> people come up with for "everything" when they are either attacking
> science or trying to make up some excuse for why they insist non-
> religion is the same as religion. Yeah, some can encapsulate the stuff
> they simply decide is "true", from the stuff they take "on faith", but
> you will never find two people that agree on the line seperating those.
> And who do you think are going to be more prone to this inability to
> seperate them, someone that is told there is a literally true version of
> their holy book and all contradictions need to be explained away, or
> someone from a group that things most of it is just stories and that a
> lot of the stuff it claims where the simplistic and inaccurate views of
> people that didn't and couldn't know better? It should be an real easy
> thing to answer.
> Again, you can't compromise (which really doesn't solve anything anyway
> some times), never mind argue the merits of your view, with someone that
> doesn't use the same basic definitions for things, hold at least
> "similar" assumptions and can't agree on the same basic objective facts
> (let alone how you determine if they "are" objective or factual). You
> might as well be speaking to a chatbot, for all some ideas can
> transition to those with such drastically different interpretations of
> how the world actually works.
I think you can still work from common ground to talk to people. I have
before. Even if they have different beliefs about the how the world works,
there's still your common senses, your common emotions. You can both observe
the world around you and discuss what it means.
Also, both of your goals are the same. You both want to understand the world
around you and your place in it and be good people. Essentially, you both
just have different theories that explain the world. You can discuss which
is a better representation of the world you see.
One stumbling block I see with convincing a theist of an atheistic point of
view is that of morality. They believe without God, there is no reason to
behave morally and ethically to one another. It doesn't matter if you're a
bad person because there's no consequences to it. I've found it difficult to
be convincing that there are still reasons to be a good person without there
being any ultimate reward or punishment after you die.